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Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.

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SH.22.02

Sexual harassment of LGBTQ young people in the workplace and workplace training

Project length
24 months

This mixed-methods research project investigates sexual harassment experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) young people (aged 14 to 30) in the workplace and at workplace training sites, within an intersectionality framework.


Population surveys have demonstrated higher prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual violence for LGBTQ people compared to cisgender, heterosexual populations. Trans people and lesbian and bisexual cisgender women experience the highest rates of sexual harassment within LGBTQ populations.

However, little is known about LGBTQ young people’s experiences of sexual harassment and violence, and the influence of intersecting disadvantages on experiences and responses to sexual harassment in the workplace and workplace training.

Research aim/s

  • Extend current understandings of sexual harassment of LGBTQ young people in the workplace and at workplace training sites.
  • Explore how sexual harassment is experienced by LGBTQ young people facing intersecting disadvantages.
  • Explore LGBTQ young people’s knowledge of their workplace and workplace training rights.
  • Co-develop relevant resources for employers and LGBTQ young people.

 

 

Methods

This project incorporates qualitative methodologies across three key stages:

Stage one:
An online national survey of LGBTQ young people aged 14 to 30. The survey will address participant demographics, understandings of sexual harassment, nature of behaviour experienced, bystander experiences, responses, impact on employment status, career aspirations, workplace belonging, health/wellbeing, financial security, and knowledge/understanding of workplace rights.

Stage two:
Individual interviews with LGBTQ young people.

Stage three:
Photo-elicitation, which provides young people the opportunity to tell their stories/lived experiences of sexual harassment through creative means, for example photos and other images. Interviews are conducted with young people who choose to participate in this method to discuss their photos/images.

 

Significance

This research will provide new evidence on sexual harassment in the workplace and at workplace training sites from the perspectives and experiences of LGBTQ young people. The intersectional framework underpinning the research design will capture the complexity of sexual harassment experiences and responses. The framework will address the influence of intersecting social inequalities related to LGBTQ young people’s multiple identities. Findings will inform workplace policy, practice and targeted resources to mitigate sexual harassment of LGBTQ young people. Resources will be co-designed with young people and advisory committee members from relevant community organisations and industry, ensuring relevancy to maximise uptake of resources and implementation of findings.


Researchers

Project lead

Professor Kerry Robinson, Professor of Sociology, School of Social Sciences; and Director, Diversity & Human Rights Research Centre, Sexualities and Genders Research (SaGR), Translational Research Institute, Western Sydney University

Research team

Professor Jane Ussher, Professor of Women’s Health Psychology, Translational Research Institute and School of Medicine, Western Sydney University

Cristyn Davies , Research Fellow, Speciality of Child and Adolescent Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney; and Adjuct, School of Social Sciences, Sexualities & Genders Research (SaGR), Western Sydney University

Associate Professor Jacqueline Ullman, Associate Professor, School of Education, Western Sydney University

Dr Alex Hawkey, NMHRC Senior Research Fellow, Translational Research Institute and School of Medicine, Western Sydney University

Associate Professor Brahm Marjadi, Translational Research Institute and School of Medicine, Western Sydney University

Dr Paul Byron, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Digital & Social Media, University of Technology Sydney

Research partners

The project will include research partners from Twenty10 and LGBTQ+ Health Australia, as well as an advisory committee comprising representatives from ACON and Queer Muslims alongside representatives from service providers and managers in relevant sectors across Australia.

Budget

$228,263 (excluding GST)

This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

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